Herbal Bitters: An Essential tool for Gut Healing!

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Bitter herbs are an incredibly powerful tool for fixing digestion. Digestion starts in the mouth, and herbal bitters help kick start this process. The “bitter” taste hits our taste buds and starts to stimulate the production of gastric juices.

Herbal bitters help to:

  • Regulate stomach acid
  • Balance blood sugar levels
  • Boost bile flow for fat absorption and detoxification (bile is a basically a natural laxative- and poor bile is a huge cause of constipation)
  • Aid liver function
  • Boost the immune system
  • Increase nutrient assimilation
  • And they can even help with stress and anxiety
  • Encourage digestive enzyme production (which is why I recommend them over most regular enzyme supplements)
  • Calm down heartburn, gas, and bloating

My Favorite Bitter Herbs

Dandelion Root

Most people already know how much I love dandelion root. One of the reasons why it is so helpful is because of its role as a bitter herb. Dandelion helps stimulate bile flow in the liver, which is an important factor for people trying to regain their health and detox effectively. One source that it actually quadruples bile flow!

My favorite ways to use dandelion include tea or a decoction. You can get the recipes here, or check out these photos so you can Pin them for later!

Gaia Herbs “Sweetish” Bitters

Gaia Herbs “Sweetish” Bitters are great! This blend includes Anise Seed, Cardamom, Fennel, Gentian, Ginger Root, Milk Thistle, Turmeric, and more. You just put 60 drops in a little bit of liquid about 15 minutes before each meal to help with digestion. So easy! I usually recommend to start with just a few drops at first just to work up to the full dose because increasing bile flow can start to initiate some detox.

Herb Pharm Better Bitters

Herb Pharm is another one of my favorite herbal companies. They offer several herbal bitter options: liquids(like the Gaia herbs formula above) or they even have sprays. The sprays are even easier (and great for on-the-go use!) as all you do is spray it 4 times in your mouth about 10 minutes before a meal. The sprays are STRONG tasting but it is kind of the point when it comes to bitters. We want to taste the bitter flavor as much as we can to help stimulate the gut.

The Herb Pharm bitters have a few flavors to choose from. I went with the Classic and Bittersweet sprays, and honestly there is not much of a difference in taste. They are both pretty strong tasting, but both effective!

My current assortment of bitters!

Note for Nursing Mamas: Most of these bitters aren’t good while nursing (which stinks because we need that bile support postpartum!). I have found 3 options that are OK while nursing.  This lactation formula has bitters in it, so it can help with milk supply as well.   And this one is good while pregnant so I would think it is OK while nursing.

Dandelion tea is also ok while pregnant and nursing, I just wouldn’t overdo it. Maybe 1 cup a day would be good just for a bit of support. Obviously eating or drinking things like beets, artichokes, Apple cider vinegar, lemon water,  and healthy fats help with bile as well as those are definitely safe during these times where we need lots of nourishment.


Why I LOVE Elderberry Syrup(Plus my recipe!)

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elderberries

Elderberries are one of the best immune boosters out there.  There is a lot of evidence that elderberry syrup is so strong that it is an effective treatment for the flu!  Elderberries are high in vitamin C, which we know is a crucial nutrient for immune health.  Elderberries are anti-inflammatory but they have a laxative, diuretic, and expectorant properties.

Elderberries can also be beneficial to those with EBV, herpes simplex, and even HIV. It can help lower the risk of heart disease as well! (Source)

The most common way to use elderberries is in a syrup.  You can buy your own or you can make it yourself!  It is much more cost effective you make it yourself.  A whole pound of elderberries is the same price as a small portion of pre-made syrup.  Learn how to make your own syrup from Wellness Mama. I use her recipe when I make elderberry syrup, but I do make a few modifications.

Elderberry Syrup
Print Recipe
One of the BEST immune system boosters out there!
Elderberry Syrup
Print Recipe
One of the BEST immune system boosters out there!
Instructions
  1. Add water, elderberries, ginger, cinnamon and cloves (if using) to a pot. Don’t add the honey though!
  2. Once the mixture boils, then cover and reduce to a simmer for about 45-60 minutes. The liquid should reduce by almost half in this time.
  3. Let the mixture cool for a good 10-15 minutes. Pour this mixture through a mesh strainer into another bowl, and you can mash the berries with a spoon to help get some more of the juices out. Either throw the used berries out, or compost them if you are able to.
  4. Let the liquid cool a bit longer before adding the raw honey ( heat can kill the enzymes, so we don’t want to add the honey to a very hot liquid).
  5. You can store this in the fridge once complete (a Mason jar is perfect). It seems to vary how long it keeps, but with 3 of us using it regularly, it doesn’t have time to go bad.
Recipe Notes

*I like the recommendation for taking as preventative at least 5 times a week.   Typical dosing is 1-2 tsp for children and 1-2 tbsp for adults. If you do end up catching a cold or the flu, you can easily double the dose until you feel better. If I end up catching something I do 1 tablespoon 3 times a day until I feel better. *

Elderberry syrup might not be a good idea for those with certain auto-immune illnesses.  Just like anything, you have to look into it yourself and see if it is something you can tolerate.  Every body is different.

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Natural Anxiety Relief

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Anxiety SUCKS. Truly. There is no way around that fact!

I dealt with anxiety on a low scale for most of my life, but boy did it get so much worse after I had my son. The experience that I had with postpartum anxiety was what finally landed me in the world of mineral balancing. This is how I found out about how a copper imbalance could have been my root cause of anxiety!

I have since healed from this issue, but it can take time for a root cause of an illness to balance out 100%. There are lots of ways to aid in anxiety though as you are healing from that root issue.

First of all, let’s go over what anxiety truly is and what the symptoms are.

I’m sure most people have had times of anxiety in their lives.  Whether it is just for a short time period, or if you deal with it 24/7, anxiety is an extremely uncomfortable feeling.

Symptoms of anxiety include:

  • Feeling nervous or powerless
  • Having a sense of impending danger, panic or doom
  • Increased heart rate
  • Breathing rapidly
  • Sweating
  • Trembling
  • Feeling weak or tired
  • Trouble concentrating or racing mind

The remedies for anxiety are going to differ based on what your cause is. For most people, copper dysregulation is at the core because excess, unbound copper can truly overstimulate the brain. Please read my whole post on copper to get an idea on how prevalent this issue truly is! If you have ever been on birth control, been a vegetarian/vegan, had copper pipes in your house, or have had children, then copper dysregulation could be your root cause!

Top Natural Anxiety Busters for Fast Relief

Dandelion tea:

A lot of anxiety has to do with a mix of unbound copper that is floating around because we lack the bile flow to excrete it. Couple that with constipation, and you’re just going to be in a cycle of never ending anxiety. This dandelion tea can help with giving a boost of bile to help clear out whatever toxins might be causing your anxiety:

Magnesium:

Mag is a calming mineral. A majority of people are dealing with deficiency of magnesium, especially if they grew up eating the Standard American Diet, which is low in most critical nutrients like mag. Read my whole magnesium post here.

My top pick for quick magnesium is a bath or foot bath. Work up to 2 ounces mag oil (1 cup of flakes), 1 cup of baking soda and you can add ½ cup of pink salt if desired.  Epsom salts are also helpful for relaxation, although the mag oil/flakes tend to be better for raising mag levels. Either are a good choice to help with anxiety. You can even get some magnesium lotions like this awesome one with lavender to help relax quickly.

Herbs for Anxiety Relief:

There are so many herbs out there that can help with anxiety, so we’re just going to go over the best ones that I’ve come across.

Oatstraw: I LOVE herbal infusions, and oatsraw is one of the best ones there is for dealing with anxiety. Oatstraw infusions are super high in magnesium, calcium, and B vitamins which are all helpful for the nervous system.

Infusions are super easy to make. Steep one ounce (about one cup) of dried herb in a quart of hot water for at least 4 hours- leaving it overnight is perfect. Strain the herbs and store the liquid in the fridge. Some reuse the herbs to make another quart or 2. Mason jars are perfect for making these infusions.  Infusions will generally last about 2-4 days in the fridge after making them. If you find yours has gone a little bad, you can use it for any plants you might have or even a hair rinse after you wash your hair. Find oatstraw here!

Rhodiola: This is a potent adaptogen! Rhodiola helps a lot with chronic exhaustion, stress and anxiety.

Lavender: Whether it is in a tea or essential oil, lavender is one of the most common herbs used for anxiety and depression. Many studies have proven its benefit for helping stress. Diffuse the oil, get a toxin-free candle made with lavender EO, or just open the bottle and take a whiff 🙂

Stress Manager Formula from Herb Pharm– This formula has all of the best adaptogens in it! Eleuthero Root, Reishi Mushroom, Holy Basil Leaf, Rhodiola Root, and Schisandra Berry.

Gut Healers:

The gut is our second brain. When we are dealing with leaky gut, it is common to experience symptoms like anxiety and depression, so healing your gut is a must. Some quick helpers for experiencing relief include apple cider vinegar, grass-fed collagen, and probiotics. These are things you will have to continue for a time to experience continual healing but I have heard from many people that find fast relief with these 3 things.

For Apple cider vinegar: put 1 tsp-1 tbsp in a glass of water and drink this 1-3 times a day, preferably with meals.

For Collagen: Perfect Supplements is my favorite brand because they are one of the best qualities that I have found. Use 1-2 scoops a day to help get a great source of protein, as well as a boost of amino acids that are essential for gut and brain health.

For Probiotics: My top picks include Garden of Life 100 Billion CFU, Prescript Assist, and Catie’s Whole Food Flora. You can find more ideas here. Also, fermented foods like kefir, kombucha, and cultured veggies can help replenish gut bacteria.

For more info on complete gut healing, check out my post on Leaky gut. Also, How Diet Can Effect Mental Health

Stress Busters

My top activities for helping calm anxiety include:

  1. Yoga- everyone knows about yoga, but not everyone likes doing it.  Yoga has been one of the most popular ways to help de-stress for a long time.  Even finding a few yoga positions that help you can help immensely. I like legs-on-the-wall, child’s pose, cat-and-cow, and corpse pose. Legs-on-the-wall is my absolute favorite, and I have heard from  many people that this instantly calms them down when dealing with anxiety!
  2. EFT (aka Tapping)- Emotional Freedom technique is not new, but it has been garnering a lot of attention over the last few years in the natural health field. This method used meridian tapping to harness your body’s energy to heal itself.
  3. Buteyko breathing- A friend introduced me to this method this year, and I will forever be grateful.  It truly is a great way to calm yourself down before bed, or if you wake up in the middle of the night, or even in the middle of a panic attack. It actually helps the healing of a lot of different ailments as well!
  4. Do something that makes you happy! Watch silly videos, read, color, go for a walk in nature, etc. Do something that helps take your mind off of what is going on.

So there you have it: my top natural anxiety relief tips. There are a LOT of things to try. Anxiety is just a (horrible) symptom, but you can heal from it once you find your root cause. As you heal though, you should be able to find relief with some of the ideas above. And remember: I HAVE BEEN THERE! I have HEALED! It is completely possible to heal from chronic illnesses. Stay strong, keep fighting, and don’t give up until you find your root cause.

Happy healing!

My Favorite Herbal Remedies: A new eBook!

Herbal remedies are a huge helper when it comes to healing. The beauty of herbs is that there are so many out there so there are usually a few herbs that work best for some people, but not as well for others. This is where mineral balancing can help- once we figure out your personal imbalances, we can find the best herbs that will work for you!

 

So check out my new awesome guide to read about my favorite herbs! Stinging nettle infusions and dandelion decoctions are my absolute favorite 🙂

Smudging: Cleansing negative energy

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I was lucky enough to have a friend at one point in my life that was Native American. She told me a little bit about what her culture was like, but the biggest thing that she taught me about was Smudging. It is now something that I do regularly when I am feeling extra stressed or just want to clear the house of negative energy.

Smudging is basically the practice of using the smoke of certain herbs to help purify the air and cleanse negative energies. The main herbs used are white sage and/or cedar.  Many people smudge their homes when major changes happen in their life (new baby, new home, loss of a family member, job change, etc), at the change of seasons,  or especially when we are ringing in a New Year. It has also been used to help spirits leave your home if you feel like you have an issue with that (which is exactly what prompted me to start smudging regularly).

The Science on Smudging:

There has actually been a Pubmed study done on the effectiveness of smudging. They looked at 265 herbs in 50 different countries and found that “this review argues in favor of medicinal smoke extended use in modern medicine as a form of drug delivery and as a promising source of new active natural ingredients”.

There has also been an experiment with smudging where they determined that an hour of burning the herbs made a 94% reduction in the bacteria in the air, a result that ended up lasting for a whole month! (Source)

So why smudging may seem like a simple concept, it has truly remarkable and powerful healing potential!

How to Smudge:

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Image from Facebook, unknown original source

Or check out this step-by-step guide to smudging.

I like to start at the front door with the smudge stick, and work my way around the whole house. Make sure you have the windows open! Some people pray, some just ask for the negative energy to attach to the smoke and leave the home, and others like to smudge in silence. Be mindful of the ashes as you are going around- I like to carry a glass bowl with me.

Once I am done, I leave the stick in the glass bowl to continue to smoke until it puts itself out. I tend to clean the whole house first before smudging, and I shower after I am done smudging as a sort of total cleansing ritual.

You can find smudge sticks in nearly every health food store, or you can order them on Amazon.

Do you Smudge? Let’s talk about it in the comments!

Detoxification: Why we do need extra support!

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Oh boy! For the most part, I have learned my lesson when it comes to arguing with those that cannot/will not see the truth about detoxification but when I come across articles like this one that completely deny the fact that we are bombarded on a daily basis with thousands of environmental toxins, well then my Sassy side starts to come out! 🙂

rusticwedding

Conventional medicine tends to make us believe that we are either 100% or horribly ill- there is no in-between! They claim that we are always detoxing, there is nothing we need to do to facilitate the process, and that we don’t store toxins in our bodies. Oh and the best one I’ve heard is that if you have a liver, you’re healthy. That’s it: just have a liver! HA! In a perfect world, sure! A few hundred years ago this might have been the case because there were far less toxins in our world and the food was a lot more nutritious. So we have to do our best to limit toxin exposure, replenish nutrients, and gently support the body to detox more effectively.

Don’t get me wrong though, there are plenty of people out there giving bad and even dangerous advice when it comes to detox. True detox isn’t going to happen with a 1-month cleanse, intense fasting,  or even from a little box labeled “whole body cleanse” from the vitamin store. We’ll get more into this below on how to truly support detox.

Where are these toxins coming from?

In a recent post, I found that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; National Institutes of Health; National Cancer Institute; and the National Institute of Environment published a 46 page booklet to talk about the environmental causes of cancer. The booklet says that a LARGE number of cancers are in fact preventable, and *at least* two-thirds of all cancers and other illnesses can be linked to environmental issues. These things BUILD UP in the body and slowly start to mess with things. Illness doesn’t usually happen with a one time exposure; these toxins get stored until the body can handle getting rid of them. How can they claim that we don’t need to detox when we have proof like this?!

A majority of the toxins that we come into contact with on a daily basis are products that we use ourselves: deodorant, makeup, perfume, hair dye, shampoo, dish soap, shaving cream, and more.  The average woman puts on about 515 different synthetic chemicals daily – and most of that is just in the morning! These include GMOs, parabens, propylene glycol, ethoxylated compounds,aluminum, SLS, fragrance, artificial colors, micas, oxides, and more. There are about 82,000 ingredients used in these products, many of them known carcinogens.

These chemicals are cancer causing, hormone disrupting (especially causing infertility), and skin irritants. The skin is the largest organ in our bodies and using these harsh products on our skin daily is truly wreaking havoc for our health.

Other common ways we become overloaded with toxins:

  • Nutritional Deficiencies (especially copper, magnesium, vitamin A, vitamin C and the B vitamins.)
  • Common beauty products (makeup, shampoo, deodorant; again, there are about 82,000 ingredients used in these products, many of them known carcinogens)
  • Household cleaners (bleach, windex, etc)
  • Pollution
  • BPA (and other plastics)
  • Asbestos
  • Furniture! Most furniture companies still use toxic chemicals as a flame retardant. The furniture off-gasses, and it gets worse the older it gets. Mattresses tend to be the worst!
  • Genetically Modified Organisms (mostly because of the increase in use of Round-Up.)
  • Parasites which are easily picked up on unwashed produce, pets,
  • Our water supply: Fluoride, heavy metals, parasites, and even traces of pharmaceutical drugs can be found in tap water. Learn how to get clean water here.
  • Inactivity/lack of exercise
  • Tobacco and its second hand smoke
  • Alcohol
  • UV Radiation (no tanning beds!!)
  • Viral infections (Think EBV and other herpes viruses that can stay dormant in the body and be aquired in utero. If you’ve had mono or strep throat, you likely have EBV lurking! Read more about EBV here.)
  • Bacterial infections (think h. pylori and Lyme and Co.)
  • Radiation (especially Radon, which is extremely common in the US. Testing your home for Radon is essential if you are in a high radon area. Check your state’s environmental site for info.)
  • PESTICIDES: Likely one of the most common causes since we are exposed to these daily. Think food, grass, pest control, etc. This is why organic food is so important! It might not be perfect, but it helps to lessen the amount of toxins we are exposed to.
  • Herbicides: Another huge cause because of GLYPHOSATE use in the US (which has been declared a probable carcinogen by the WHO). While some countries have banned glyphosate because of its toxic effects, the US just rose the acceptable limits of it.
  • Medical drugs
  • Solvents that are used mostly in paint.
  • Heavy metals like cadmium, lead, arsenic, mercury and more

That is an AWFUL lot of junk that we are exposed to through our lives. So if you went into reading this as a skeptic, do you see now the “why” behind detox support?! We are bombarded! Period! We all have a threshold for dealing with these toxins. Those of us that have already met that threshold know the truth behind all of this, and we try to help others realize it. However, most people never change their habits until they already get a diagnosis of some sort. And unfortunately this is harming children even more these days because we are passing along these toxins to them during pregnancy!

How to really support detoxification:

I am a huge believer in food based nutrition. Nutrient dense foods, herbal infusions, and smart use of herbs and spices can help the body rebuild the nutrients it needs to aid in detoxification. Strengthen, nourish and rebuild the body- don’t aim to detox, cleanse, or rip metals/toxins out!

  1. Nutrient Dense Foods- Fruits, vegetables; full fat foods like butter, ghee, and coconut oil; organic/grass-fed whole milk dairy products; fermented foods; eggs; grass-fed meat; beef liver every so often if you can handle it!
  2. Herbal Infusions–  Nettle infusions are full of vitamin K, iron, copper, magnesium and calcium, and they help the kidneys, liver, and adrenals. Oatstraw infusions help quite a bit as well with liver and overall detox support.
  3. Focus on Gut Health– we need sufficient stomach acid and bile to digest a lot of our nutrients and to take care of nasty things like bacteria and parasites. Using either a probiotic or eating fermented foods is essential as well.
  4. Stay Hydrated! Try to drink as much filtered or spring water as you want, as well as herbal infusions. Depending on your personal needs you may be able to use Salt water Sole and coconut water as well, to help sodium and potassium balance.
  5. Love your Livers!! The liver has over 500 functions! We can function with as little as 1/6th of our livers- this is why it can take years, even decades, before we even notice any apparent liver dysfunction. Part of the liver’s job is to filter out toxins and convert them into less toxic substances so they can be excreted. However, when the liver gets bombarded by toxins, and coupled with a poor diet, it cannot do its job correctly.  This seems to be the reason for this obesity epidemic, as well as a SAD lifestyle.  Toxins get stored in fat when the liver cannot handle the constant influx of toxins. All of these things factor into illness! My favorite remedies include Bone broth, gelatin, Apple cider vinegar, aloe vera, ginger, apples, Milk thistle, dandelion root decoctions or tea, garlic, turmeric, coffee enemas and Castor oil packs (read about castor oil packs here!).  Or you can even try the amazing BioRay Liver life tincture! Whey protein is also an amazing helper for the liver since it helps the body create more glutathione.
  6. Don’t forget your lymph system too! Dry skin brushing, rebounding, yoga, walks, and even castor oil packs can be helpful to keep the lymph moving.
  7. Use hair tissue mineral analysis to determine metabolism, mineral status, and possible heavy metal toxicity. We need to be in balance in order to detox properly!
  8. New to all of this about reducing environmental toxins and not sure where to start? Environmental Working Group has a ton of good information on their website about what chemicals to avoid. They even have a database that rates beauty products according to their safety! There are plenty of good companies out there dedicated to selling quality products but it is important to become a good label reader.This is the main reason why I love and use Poofy Organics. I am extremely picky in the products I use, and Poofy is one of the *very* few companies I trust.

Whew! Well I wasn’t expecting to make such a huge post about this, but like I mentioned at first, posts that spread misinformation make me sassy (and angry!). We need to start PREVENTING illnesses instead of waiting for a diagnosis and then managing them. There are many things in our environment that we can’t control, but there are even more than we can control. I’ve been saying this often and it is so true: it is our responsibility to change now so we can ensure a healthier future for our children and grandchildren.

Always getting sick? Learn how to strengthen your immune system!

This post may contain affiliate links. If you make a purchase through these links, I may receive a small commission (at no extra cost to you!) which helps to keep this site running. Thanks for your support!

are-you-always-getting-sick-in-the-fall-and-winter_

Tis the season for colds and flus! For some reason this year seems even worse than usual. Once a person gets over one cold, they seem to catch another! Why are so many people dealing with weak immune systems? Let’s go over why this happens and what we can do to fix it.

Diet

A poor diet will be one of the BIGGEST reasons why people are constantly getting sick. The Standard American Diet is full of refined sugars, fake foods, and artificial sweeteners and these are foreign invaders to the body that will not help strengthen your health at all. Obviously, we want to always aim for a clean, real foods diet but it is especially important to follow this to keep your immune system strong.

Fresh fruits and veggies, grass-fed meats and dairy, herbal infusions, lots of grass-fed butter and coconut oil and real sweeteners (used moderately) are part of an ideal diet. Yes, I know it’s the holidays and we all cheat- so try to make your own desserts with REAL ingredients. That is what Pinterest is for! Search for Real food recipes.  Read all about the “Ideal Diet” here.

Stress

Stress is inevitable in life, but there are many ways that we can learn to handle stress.  Since chronic stress is so damaging to our health, we can actually lose important nutrients like magnesium, potassium, and zinc when we are under stress. Our adrenals take the biggest hit from stress, and in turn our immune system weakens.

How can we help cope with stress better?

  1. Supporting your adrenals is crucial in order to prevent recurrent infections.
  2. Herbs like oatstraw, lemon balm, rhodiola, lavender, or a formula like Stress Manager from Herb Pharm can help immensely, especially under times of acute stress.
  3. Yoga- everyone knows about yoga, but not everyone likes doing it.  Yoga has been one of the most popular ways to help de-stress for a long time.  Even finding a few yoga positions that help you can help immensely. I like legs-on-the-wall, child’s pose, cat-and-cow, and corpse pose
  4. EFT (aka Tapping)- Emotional Freedom technique is not new, but it has been garnering a lot of attention over the last few years in the natural health field. This method used meridian tapping to harness your body’s energy to heal itself.
  5. Buteyko breathing- A friend introduced me to this method this year, and I will forever be grateful.  It truly is a great way to calm yourself down before bed, or if you wake up in the middle of the night, or even in the middle of a panic attack. It actually helps the healing of a lot of different ailments as well!
  6. Find a hobby, go for walks in nature, or even talk to friends on a daily basis!

Chronic and underlying infections

When our adrenals and livers are weak, when we are nutritionally depleted, and when we are constantly exposed to stress we are at a huge risk of developing chronic infections. In a perfect world where our minerals were balanced, we would NOT be able to harbor these gross pests like parasites, yeast, bacteria, and viruses.  Bioavailable copper is the MOST critical nutrient for keeping these nasty things at bay.  Nearly everyone has copper dysregulation and other mineral deficiencies at this point- and these are just 2 of the major issues out there that are plaguing people.

What are the most common issues?

  • Epstein-Barr virus: If you have ever had strep throat or mono in your life, you likely are a carrier of EBV. EBV tends to stay dormant for the most part, but stress can reactivate it. If your immune system is especially weak, you can have a chronic mild activation of EBV as well. Please read a lot more about this here, including how to test and treat for this illness.
  • Parasites: Or as I like to call them in my big bug post, creepy crawlers. Some people can be harboring parasites for years, even decades, without ever noticing.  We pick up parasites from under-cooked foods (pork is a huge offender), unwashed produce, international travel, pets, and inadequate hygiene.
  • Yeast: You cannot look on a natural health site without seeing the word “Candida”! It seems to be the supposed root cause of nearly everything out there. However, all is not as it seems. Many people spend years on sugar-free diets and anti-fungal herbs but these are not addressing the REAL root cause: copper dysregulation. Getting copper balanced is a huge piece of the puzzle in strengthening the immune system.

What to do to support the immune system

  • Elderberry Syrup: Elderberries are one of the best immune boosters out there.  There is a lot of evidence that elderberry syrup is so strong that it is an effective treatment for the flu!  Elderberries are high in vitamin C, which we know is a crucial nutrient for immune health.  Elderberries are anti-inflammatory but they have a laxative, diuretic, and expectorant properties. Find the recipe here!
  • Cod Liver oil: Vitamins A and D are absolutely crucial for immune health. There is so much focus on vitamin D these days, but vitamin A is likely an even more common deficiency. Cod liver oil has the BEST ratio of these 2 vitamins, especially when it is a good quality product. My favorite CLOs include NutraPro, Rosita’s and Nordic Naturals. Read the breakdown on my favorite cod liver oils here!
  • Vitamin C: Vitamin C is a very important nutrient for immune health but we have been lied to about what true vitamin C is.  90% of the supplements you will see out there that have “vitamin C” on the label are really ascorbic acid which is just the shell of the vitamin C complex. . Read all about whole food C here.  Ascorbic acid can actually cause copper deficiency while whole food vitamin C supports proper copper balance.  Copper is an antioxidant and another nutrient that is needed for proper immune health.
  • Fire Cider: This is some STRONG stuff! You can find recipes for fire cider all over natural health sites, so I recommend finding one that appeals to you. Usually, this concoction includes garlic, onions, apple cider vinegar and some hot peppers and you take a small dose each day to help with preventing infections.

What are your go-to immune boosters for the winter? Let’s talk in the comments!

 

BioRay Kids Line: Amazing support for little bodies!

This post may contain affiliate links. If you make a purchase through these links, I may receive a small commission (at no extra cost to you!) which helps to keep this site running. Thanks for your support!

how-to-really-raise-vitamin-d-levels2

So many people are having great success with the BioRay Liver Life, so I wanted to spotlight the kids line that they have as well. All of the tinctures are Alcohol, Gluten, Dairy and Soy free, as well as Non-GMO. Most of these formulas are for children over 1 year of age, and they all have different doses based on weight. The biggest differences between the adult line (which most can be used for kids) and the kid’s line are that the kid’s products are all alcohol free and they are flavored, so even the pickiest kids might handle them well!

NDF Calm

This is one of my favorites of the kid’s line and the one I recommend most often. It helps mostly with taking some stress off of the adrenals, and it aids the liver in gentle detox.

  • Supports healthy liver function
  • Promotes healthy moods and restful sleep
  • Helps kids deal with stress
  • Supports detox pathways in the liver
  • Antioxidant for the liver
  • Replenishes adrenal reserves
  • Has trace minerals, vitamins, RNA/DNA
  • Safely removes heavy metals and chemicals
  • Vanilla Flavor (Blue bottle)

NDF Focus

This is my second favorite of the kid’s line. This is specifically for kids that have issues with concentration, brain fog, and seasonal allergies.

  • Promotes Clarity
  • Enhances ability to handle stress
  • Restores steady energy level
  • Supports cognitive function
  • Helps avoid seasonally runny nose and itchiness
  • Reduces environment sensitivities
  • Safely removes heavy metals and chemicals
  • Replenishes adrenal reserves
  • Has trace minerals, vitamins, RNA/DNA
  • Citrus flavor (green bottle)

NDF Happy

This one is best for parasite removal. The Happy has the main parasite cleansing herbs (wormwood, black walnut hulls, and cloves) as well as herbs that help support the liver and adrenals.

  • Improves sleep
  • Safely removes unwanted organisms
  • Maintains healthy emotional balance
  • Helps reduce angry outburst
  • Replenishes adrenal reserves
  • Has trace minerals, vitamins, RNA/DNA
  • Peach Flavor (purple bottle)

NDF Shine

The Shine product is best for healing sensitive tummies and can help with speech delays.

  • Helps remove toxins (heave mental, chemicals)
  • Supports gastrointestinal immune function
  • Enhances speech and communication
  • Settles tummy issues
  • Includes trace minerals, vitamins, RNA/DNA
  • Pushes bad bugs out of the gastrointestinal tract and bowel
  • First probiotic lysate liquid
  • Supports immunity (IgA)
  • Restores gut integrity (IgM)
  • Raspberry Flavor (orange bottle)

NDF Pooper

I think most can guess what this one is best used for!

  • Promotes relaxation
  • Alleviates bowel-related stomach discomfort
  • Helps moisten and lubricate the intestines
  • Promotes intestinal integrity
  • Support healthy bowel movements
  • Mango flavor (brown bottle)

About the company: BioRay has been around for about 25 years. They use a mixture of ancient Chinese medicine and modern science to formulate their products. They make their products in small batches and use only organic ingredients.

Now you can find their AMAZING BioRay Kids line on Perfect Supplements, and save 10% with my code SASSY at checkout.

You can also check out their new symptom chart to see which one of their products might work best for you based on symptoms!

I just noticed that they also sell this line in some stores. You can check their website to find a store near you!

* These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.*

Whole Food Supplements at Perfect Supplements

This post may contain affiliate links. If you make a purchase through these links, I may receive a small commission (at no extra cost to you!) which helps to keep this site running. Thanks for your support!

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The Whole Perfect Collection!

I absolutely love the selection of whole food supplements that Perfect offers. They have so many things to choose from too! Their supplements are all Weston A. Price Foundation Approved, which was one of the main reasons that I joined them. I love the WAPF take on nutrition and health.  Nutrient dense foods and supplements are the *best* way to heal from any illness.

Perfect Supplements has a money back guarantee, free shipping on domestic orders over $99, and when you buy 3 Perfect Brand Products you save Save 25%. Plus they have great sales, especially around Black Friday, which is coming up so stay tuned!

My Favorite Perfect Supplements products:

  • Desiccated Liver Capsules
  • 100% Grass-Fed, Hormone/Pesticide free Hydrolyzed Collagen
  • Organic, extra-virgin Coconut oil (in capsules too!)
  • Rhodiola Rosea, which is freeze dried to maintain the nutrients!
  • 3 Grass Blend: Barley Grass, Wheatgrass and Oat Grass
  • And of course, the organic Lip balm!

Here are all of the Perfect Supplements brand products!

Use the code SASSY at checkout for 10% off everything on their website!

Want to see the rest of my favorite products that are available on the Perfect site? Check out my store front below! They have Garden of Life Vitamin C, magnesium oil and flakes, and even probiotics.

Here is my Sassy Holistics storefront to see my favorite products that Perfect offers!

Guest Post: DIY Elderberry Kits!

Looking for an easy way to boost your immune system this coming winter? You can buy Elderberry Syrup DIY Kits! Every ingredient is organic/non-GMO and will never be anything less!

Elderberries contain high levels of A, B, and C and stimulate the immune system. Not only does elderberry syrup boost your immune system, it tastes delicious! I highly recommend taking as preventative (5x a week)! Double dosage if you feel like you’re fighting something. Take regular dosage every few hours if actively sick. Take with a dropper or spoon. 1-2 tsp for children and 1-2 tbsp for adults. It’s even delicious added to your favorite breakfast dish whether oatmeal or pancakes!

DIY Kit Options- yields 2 jars after adding honey •Dried Elderberry •Dried Elderberry, Whole Cloves, Cinnamon Sticks, Powdered Ginger

$15 per kit. Shipping starts at $3 per kit. If a large order is placed (think small to large flat rate shipping boxes), shipping per kit based on flat rate box and quantity of kits.

Orders can be placed via PayPal. Send as friend/family to thefogarty6@gmail.com

You will need local raw honey (I use organic raw coconut nectar instead of honey for 6-12 month olds and if there is an allergy to honey.

Kitchen supplies needed and Instruction how to make will be sent with order either by email, text or fb message.

**A little about me!**

Hey y’all! I’m Shonta. I live in Huntersville, NC with my husband and 4 children. I am a SAHM. We are a holistic minded family and love sharing what we learn and utilize in our everyday lives!

I can’t wait for you to get your elderberry syrup DIY kit!

xoxo Shonta

DISCLOSURE: The information provided is not intended for the treatment or prevention of disease, nor as a substitute for medical treatment, nor as an alternative to medical advice. Use of recommendations is at the choice and risk of the reader.